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History GCE A Level (Edexcel) at Rugby High School

Course description

1. Russia, 1917 - 91: from Lenin to Yeltsin (30% of A Level)

This topic covers the events following the Russian Revolution of 1917 – one of the pivotal events of 20th century history. What happened in the Russian revolution to bring the Communists to power in 1917, and what was Communist Russia like under the dictators Lenin and Stalin from 1917 to 1953? Finally how and why did the Communist era end in 1991?


2. Mao’s China, 1949 – 76 (20% of A Level)

This topic looks at the transformation of communist China and how this has affected China to this day. Students will study the Cultural Revolution and the Red Terror as well as industrial and agricultural changes such as collectivisation and the Five Year Plans.


3. Industrialisation and social change in Britain, 1759 - 1928: forging a new society

This module comprises 2 parts; a study in breadth over a longer period and a study in depth of a particular aspect. The topic will look in breadth at the changing patterns of work and working conditions plus the romanticisation of childhood by the Victorians. Depth studies will include Isambard Kingdom Brunel, how cycling clubs aided the emancipation of women and a local aspect of the car industry in the Midlands.


4. Coursework (20% of A level)

At RHS we study the massive internal changes in American society from 1877-1981. Coursework involves Interpretation and Investigation of these topics; Interpretation means assessing the views of historians who have written about the topic, while Investigation involves writing an extended essay (2,000 words) on an aspect of the topic of the student’s choosing.

Entry requirements

You must have AT LEAST a grade B in GCSE History or a grade B in English if History has not been studied at GCSE. The A level History course is rigorous and academic in its demands on students, who will be expected to work extensively at the skills of reading, note-making, essay-writing, participation in discussion and debate in class, and learning of factual content. It is very important to have a good memory for factual details: dates, names, events etc. Excellent English skills (including spelling, punctuation and grammar) are expected of A level historians.


Modules 1, 2 and 3 are examined at the end of Year 13. These exams range from 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours 15 minutes in duration. All of these exams involve essay writing in depth and breadth and source evaluation. Module 4 is assessed by various pieces of coursework written in Year 13 which are internally marked and moderated and then externally moderated.


Financial information


Future opportunities

There are some careers for which History is one of the most useful subjects to have taken at school, notably law, the civil service, local government, journalism, teaching, librarianship, or the Armed Forces. However, since History develops your powers of analysis and reasoning, many careers will be open to students with a History A level or university degree.


Further information

Contact Mrs Price & Mrs Richmond, Heads of Department

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Rugby High School directly.

Last updated date: 01 September 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 52 Weeks - 104 Weeks